HISTORY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BARRUS
By Benjamin Franklin Barrus
This is the 26 March 1920 at Grantsville, Utah. I B. F. Barrus feel impressed to write something of my life. I was born 30 May 1838 in Cattarugus County, New York.
As this was the worst year of the persecutions for the Church of Jesus Christ in Missouri, my parents sympathized with the Saints in their afflictions. I suppose it was impressed on my character and disposition in so much that I have sympathized with the oppressed at all times.
My parents received the gospel in 1833, and left New York in 1839. They went to Missouri. They spent the winter in Jefferson City, Missouri.
They arrived in Nauvoo in the spring of 1840, and bought a city lot. They cleared, plowed, and planted some apple and peach trees which were just coming into bearing when the Saints were forced by a mob to leave the city of Nauvoo in 1846.
My grandfather, Freeman Nickerson who came with us, was a preacher of the gospel from 1833 until his death which occurred in January 1847. he baptized a great number of souls. We arrived at Ferryville on the Missouri River (Council Bluffs) in the spring of 1847.
We expected to come to the valley with the pioneers, but our provisions came after the company had gone, so we built a home there and stayed there until 1853, and then we crossed the plains. I was in my 15th year. I drove a herd of loose stock across the plains and took my turn standing guard with the men.
We arrived in Grantsville in October 1853. I also herded and guarded the stock after we arrived, as we had no feed for the stock. I herded summers for several years. I got my education on the range.
I received my endowments in the endowment house in 1855. We moved south on account of Johnston's Army in 1858, expecting to have our homes burned and fields laid to waste, rather we returned to our home rejoicing. On September 29, 1861 of this same year I married Lovina Ann Steele.
I was then called to drive and ox team to the Missouri River for immigrants. Our first child was born in August, 1862, while I was away. I returned home in October of the same year.
I have tried to be a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all my life. I have served 2 terms as a member of the city council, have been a Sunday School teacher, member of the Sunday School board 42 years, President of the 31st Quorum of Seventy, and was President of the Elder's Quorum several years. I went on a short term mission in 1872 and returned in 1873. I was ordained a High Priest by Abraham Woodruff. I was ordained a Patriarch by Matthew Cowley and Francis M. Lyman. I have pronounced 182 blessings. I have seen sick made whole by the laying on of hands and anointing with oil. Evil spirits have departed at our bidding.
The Lord has been good to me and mine.
Lovina Ann Steele Barrus
Soon after the birth of Lovina her father moved his family to Nauvoo, Illinois, where they were subjected to mob brutality. They followed Brigham Young to Winter Quarters, staying through the winter of 1846. Lovina's father settled his family at Mount Pisgah.
During a prayer meeting he heard a voice tell him that he was wanted at home. Upon arriving home, Lovina was very sick and in a great deal of pain. She had been playing before a fireplace, a coal popped onto her hot dress and it was ablaze. Lovina had ran outdoors and the blaze spread very quickly. She recovered but carried the scars to her grave.
When Lovina was six years old her mother deserted the family and left for the gold rush in California. Her father went to Utah and left her and her little brother with friends who were to bring them across the Plains. These friends left the children to fend for themselves. They were hungry much of the time and after this Lovina could not stand to see food wasted.
Upon arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in 1852, they were homeless. A widow named Nancy Bailey Orton offered to care for them with her own two daughters. The two children were a sad sight; thin from malnutrition, dysentery, and head lice.
Their father, Samuel, located his children and came for them but they clung to Nancy who had been good and kind like a mother to them, within a few moths time, Samuel persuaded Nancy to become his wife and they moved as a family to Grantsville.
When Lovina was seventeen, she married Benjamin Franklin Barrus. They built a large rock home on Main Street in Grantsville and played an important role in civic and Church affairs. After her husband's death, Lovina moved to Salt Lake City to live with a daughter.
She died having lived a life of hardships and challenges as a pioneer and settler of Grantsville. To her family and neighbors she was famous for her honey candy.